To hex or not to hex? (That is the Question)

To hex or not to hex?
(That is the Question)

I’ve pretty much spent my day going over information, trying to figure out before we go down the rabbit hole to deep with game mechanics. It’s a difficult thing trying to perceive the future, or if just a few people’s opinion of strangers you don’t know in a chat room, forum or even a kickstarter  comments can change your outcome. It’s pretty important to understand that game mechanics is one of the things that sets the game apart from other games. And even right now there are so many clones of other games or they’ve used parts of another game to be successful.

Well I’m pretty much happy to say we try to innovate, and we tried to do something that’s not commonly done in the game mechanics. Sure some things you’ll know are not completely new or unique or even groundbreaking, like with the cards but the other mechanics I have pride in them. So I had sent out my feelers today to the designer Matt and the co-writer Tim, on how they feel about the hexagons. Tim and his group of playtesters of the game said that none the players have complained about the hexagon. And Matt had suggested some interesting things in his reply that got me thinking.

Customer Painting

So I called my brother, he’s been a big part of the process for years now and we talked for about 30 minutes, so it gave me a good run down of the pros and cons of hexagons versus a game Play Mat. What my brother said made a lot of sense so here I’m at a crossroads do I keep the simple hexagon movement?

The issue I have seen is that it has polarized the community which obviously causes some gamers not to take this game very seriously if they see the hexagons. Or we use a play mat; I felt this time like with any crossroads to  restate what we know that works.

It is to go i as simple play, that simply use your finger you count, hexagons are trying to move you make a little turn and you’re done.
Part of the crossroads I’m at  was making the video last night, I saw the ships on the table they look cool with the different formations, however before even reading the forum today my mind was thinking ‘are hexagons the right answer’. I just like the way the ships looked on the table I thought it looked great they can be in any order not just confined to a hexagon chessboard but with freedom. Maybe I was in doubt today, of the images of the video I’ve seen and, I fantasized the game being played that way. But it wasn’t a fantasy before that’s how we used to play the game with the movement cards and it worked fine with some problems. (Don’t you just love rule gremlins.)

But how do you make a game be unique without doing it for the sake of being unique, or going too far with the rules that gamers do not understand what you’re trying to achieve. I do know this was a decision that I had to take seriously, I’ve read the threads on certain games which started originally hexagon or grid pattern movement styles eventually developed into a movement card based system to move the ships freely, either the game company made these optional rules or some independent homebrewed gamer made the rules for the game either way there was a way to play it without using the hexagons map.

I felt that this time it is better to take this head-on than to wait and find out that so many other people wanted a free roam movement card base game. That they’ve felt being confined by the hexagons on the game board antiquated. There’s a few advantages to this one, you might have a awesome looking game-board at your house,

used with other ship games and the way Sky Relics is set up you couldn’t use this board unless it was hexagon. So these are some of my thoughts, and why I’m at the crossroads, deciding if I should make a turn or carry on. This means I’m trying to make the most educated answer I can. I want the new play testing groups to play out this type of movement without the hexagons and see how they like it, if they don’t we know the hexagon maps still work. Obviously there’s no real big loss there but it’s worth a shot a try to find out if this’s a better way of doing things.

However even with all this we have a conundrum, games like X-Wing, Firestorm Armada, Halo Ships are very popular they use ships and free movement, a lot of people have either played or watched play. This means that even with the best will, play testers go into a game with certain preconceptions and so when you get feedback you are wading through some of this in people’s answers. We are not proposing a dictatorship, but when you do get feedback, finding that common ground where the consensus of players agree is both a challenge and informative.

So please stay tuned as we go through some of the new developments of Sky Relics and play testing practices of the future staying with us.

About Matt Adlard 19 Articles

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